What is cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC)?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Talib Najjar, DMD, MDS, PhD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) are the first and second most common types of skin cancer, respectively. Other significant skin lesions are actinic keratosis and melanoma. Actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma are easily excised and have a very good prognosis, while cSCC has a poor prognosis, especially if it invades the lymph nodes and adjacent vital structures. Actinic keratosis is the premalignant precursor for cSCC, and early treatment will save the patient morbidity. Extrinsic factors, such as ultraviolet light from sun exposure, are linked to cSCC, while intrinsic factors, such as the use of antioxidants, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), [1, 2] are reported to reduce the risk of developing the disease. [3] A biopsy should be performed for any lesion suspected of being a cutaneous neoplasm. For invasive cSCC, surgical excision and Mohs micrographic surgery are the primary treatment options. [4, 5]

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